I read a fair few news articles these days – yes my life is that damned sad. Very often I see phrases of the type “30% of people believe….” or “People feel that….”, “People have complained about…” and “People are outraged over…” A simple question – who are these ‘people’? Where do they come from? How do article writers find them?
I have the same problem with game shows where the host keeps saying “We asked 100 people…” Who are these 100 people? I’m wondering if it’s the same group of people being used over and over again. Somewhere in the bowels of a TV studio or newspaper office might be a cell containing 100 people. They could be continually asked quiz questions in return for food or given the opportunity to comment on all manner of things so that writers can quote percentages in their articles.
Surely this gathering of opinions and quiz show answers must use captives? I thought that maybe they use people with clipboards in the streets but although I have seen such people, they have only ever tried to get money out of me for some charity or other. I’ve never had one of them stop me and ask “Can you name 5 Australian batsmen who have scored over 5000 runs in test cricket?” I’m sure I would have remembered.
If you have a social media news feed, you will see these ‘people’ statements all the time. For the most part they wash over me but now and again I see a bit of a generalisation in a daft headline and I think ‘Hang-on-a-minute……..’.
“People are outraged over school biology book showing a pregnant woman with pornstar pubic hair.”
Well, I saw the drawing – just in case you thought it was a real picture – and it simply depicted the female with a ‘landing strip’ instead of looking like she was about to give birth to ZZ Top. Hardly a matter for ‘people’ to get outraged about.
“People think James Bond should be trans.”
No, just no. People don’t think that at all and if they do then they really ought to get out more or give themselves a good slap.
“People think that Santa Claus should be female.”
Er, this is an actual historical figure who was male. What are ‘people’ going to do next? Take every notable character from history and change their gender to suit current trends?! Leave ’em alone!!